Friday, 11 June 2021 11:56

RichmondCC Fine Arts students excel in the classroom, community

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Richmond Community College art instructor Marcus Dunn sits on a stool and serves as a model for students to draw using charcoal. Richmond Community College art instructor Marcus Dunn sits on a stool and serves as a model for students to draw using charcoal. RichmondCC

HAMLET — Richmond Community College’s Visual Arts program is growing in popularity with students, and faculty members are putting their mark on Richmond and Scotland counties. 


The Associate in Fine Arts in Visual Arts program at RichmondCC is designed to prepare students to transfer to one of the University of North Carolina Bachelor in Fine Arts in Visual Arts programs. It provides students with the first two years of foundational courses and allows them to develop an entrance portfolio. 

Most recently, the College has added new art courses and hired new instructors. Instructors are also looking for ways to use the talents of the students for community artwork. 

Marcus Dunn, one of RichmondCC’s newest adjunct art instructors, has been teaching the new Painting I and Painting II classes. His instructional focus consists of painting on the small and large scale of memory and cultural design. Students from his Scotland County Painting II class have come together to create a magnificent mural. The students created separate pieces of painted art and combined it into one beautiful piece of art work. 

“The mural that my Painting II class made is inspired by the films from Studio Ghibli, a Japanese film studio. The images are pulled directly from scenes in the following four films: ‘Spirited Away,’ ‘Castle in the Sky,’ ‘Princess Mononoke’ and ‘Secret World of Arrietty,’” said Dunn. “The students were influenced by the art style, colors and atmosphere of the landscapes, and they inserted a few characters from those films to honor specific references.”

The Fine Arts Department at RichmondCC is also offering a new class this fall, Sculpture I. This course provides an exploration of the creative and technical methods of sculpture with a focus on traditional processes. Students will learn a variety of sculptural approaches such as carving, modeling and mold making using clay, plaster, wood and foam. Students who successfully complete this course will be eligible for Sculpture II, which expands on the visual and technical skills learned from Sculpture I.   

Sculpture I will be taught by Fine Arts Program Coordinator Andrew Prieto. 

“We are starting with all the students learning to fold the origami animal in paper. Then they must make a scale model from cardboard figuring out all the measurements and complex angles from the paper model collaboratively. We then use this as a template for the final sculpture in welded steel and powder coat,” said Prieto. 

Prieto and his fall class will team up with Scotland County Parks & Recreation to create several large steel origami animal sculptures to be displayed throughout the facility. 

“The students are also thinking about how to present and integrate the sculpture into the Parks & Recreation environment in interesting and unusual ways,” he said. 

“Scotland County Parks and Recreation and the Scotland County Arts Council are super excited to be partnering with Richmond Community College’s art students to enhance our county parks system through artistic expression,” said Scotland County Parks & Recreation Coordinator Jeff Maley. “The first sculpture the students are working on will set the bar really high for future pieces and bring joy to park goers for years to come. We hope this relationship can continue for future sculptures as we have 10 parks in our system.  

“This is a great opportunity for the students at RichmondCC to give back to the community, and also, they will be able to say ‘we built that’ when it’s placed in a park for the community to enjoy,” he added.

Morgan Idol, another RichmondCC art instructor, will be teaching Drawing I in the fall, along with Art Appreciation and Art History. Idol has been working with the Richmond County Arts Council on a few community projects that will benefit her art students. She also submitted the work of one of her students, Gabrielle Moore, for a state-wide virtual art show. Moore’s submission titled “Adorned” is a portrait created on artist grade drawing paper using woodless graphite drawing pencils.

“Gabby spent many hours applying the graphite and using shading techniques to create a variety of values that make her subject appear photo-realistic. She is a wonderful student and artist,” Idol said.

 Moore, a Richmond County Early College student, has taken several art classes under Idol and completed Prieto’s 2D design class this spring semester.

For more information on art classes or the Fine Arts Department at RichmondCC, contact Prieto at 910-410-1760 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. RichmondCC is registering students for the 2021 Fall Semester. Apply for free online at www.richmondcc.edu/admissions or call Students Services at 910-410-1700.